Working for People with Sight Loss

Microsoft announces Surface Adaptive Kit to improve accessibility

Surface Adaptive Kit tactile labels on laptop power cable and side of laptop

Microsoft launched five products in their Surface Event on 22nd September. It included flagship products like the Surface Pro 8 and Surface Laptop studio, but the product we found most interesting was Microsoft’s new Adaptive Kit.

The idea behind the product is it makes Microsoft Surface hardware more accessible. Microsoft says the Surface Adaptive Kit is an accessibility tool that does not compromise how hardware looks and performs.

So, what do you get in the surface adaptive kit?

It includes bump labels, port indicators, keycap labels, and device openers. These features help users open and use devices more efficiently. Many blind and vision impaired people will be familiar with bump-ons, some of the things included in the kit can be described as a more advanced version of a bump-on.

Bump labels:

Bump labels come in four shape and colours, for a total of 16 labels. Shape variations are a solid dot, an open circle, a dash line, and an X. Each shape variation is available in green, orange, blue, and grey. They can be applied anywhere to help identify features such as buttons, keys, ports, etc. Peel the label from the card and place it on or next to the feature you want to identify.

Keycap labels and applicator:

Keycap labels are designed to help you identify keys on your keyboard. The labels are transparent with a raised feature on them. There are 12 total labels.

Port labels:

The port labels are designed to help identify and match cables and ports on your device. There are five different port label pairs, for 10 total labels. Each pair is a different colour and has a different tactile design so they can be identified visually and by touch.

The Adaptive Kit is a great innovation from Microsoft and a promising outlook for the future. You can look back at the event through the following link: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/event

We will know more about the release date and price of this kit soon.